One of the things I enjoy about my career at Southwest Airlines is endless opportunities for learning and growth. I am proud to be a participant in one of these transformative opportunities, the Manager in Training Program (MIT), a dynamic learning experience for top-performing Managers, Supervisors, and Team Leaders. I’ve enjoyed every aspect of the program, but the Servant’s Heart project is something I’m especially proud to have been a part of.
For 14 years, Southwest MIT participants have immersed themselves into a community service project with Shared Housing Center, a non-profit organization that provides affordable options in the Dallas area. At Southwest, we talk about “Living the Southwest Way,” which means having a Warrior Spirit, Servant’s Heart, and Fun-LUVing Attitude. From the start of this project, our MIT I spring 2018 cohort realized there was a great need to be filled in the community Southwest Airlines calls home, and our Servant’s Hearts were stirred.
We go big at Southwest Airlines, and on average, our MIT classes raise between $15,000 and $20,000, in addition to the home repair or landscaping project they complete. There’s always a friendly competition to top the previous class’ achievements, and this year our class worked hard to raise the bar!
In total, we raised more than $52,000, providing new furniture, bedding, a library full of books for the children living in the group residence, a new stove, and full landscaping for the home along with a complete renovation of the first floor restrooms and bedrooms. We also spent a day embracing our Fun-LUVing Attitude, taking over a dozen children from Shared Housing Center to the zoo.
The project evolved into a two-week effort that expanded to include partnerships with McCarthy Building Companies and Hensel Phelps Construction, with both companies taking on two bedrooms and two bathrooms in the home, gutting the rooms to the studs, and completing a total remodel. Countless Southwest Employees, local businesses, and Southwest partners generously donated time and funds, with 600+ volunteer hours spent by Southwest Employees and 416 labor hours by external contractors.
Special thanks to those partners who greatly contributed to the tremendous success of the Shared Housing Center Project: Pandora Electric, Cummings Electric, Carpet Services, Cherry Paint, Brightview Landscape, Baker Drywall, MIINC, and Sigma Title.
I am extremely proud of this year’s Shared Housing Center project! We truly tapped into our Warrior Spirit and were able to give back in an impactful way. I am so thankful to be part of a Company like Southwest Airlines with a strong commitment to both its People and its community.